Osgood Remains Perfect Against Lightning, Wings Win 4-2

Goaltender Chris Osgood improved his career record against the Tampa Bay Lighting to 16-0 Thursday night, helping his Detroit Red Wings to a 4-2 win to remain in first place in the National Hockey League.

The Red Wings earned the win without forwards Kirk Maltby or Kris Draper. Draper is expected to miss two weeks with a sprained knee while Maltby – nursing a sore back – sat out for the first time in 189 games.

Detroit got on the board early and never let up, scoring just 3:24 into the game.

Jiri Hudler opened the scoring, jumping off the left-wing boards to redirect a Chris Chelios slap-pass from the blue line past goalie Marc Denis.

The Lighting survived being outshot 17-1 in the first period down by only a goal but they would fall further behind in the second.

Pavel Datsyuk scored a power play goal at 4:04 to put the Red Wings up by a pair. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line that was knocked down as Denis fought off a screen by Tomas Holmstrom. Datsyuk grabbed the loose puck from the side of the net and put it in.

Tomas Kopecky, playing in his first game back from a shoulder injury, made it 3-0 3:35 later. Andreas Lilja sprung Kopecky with a long outlet pass to the Tampa Bay blue line. Kopecky broke in on Denis down the right wing and froze him with a shoulder fake before putting the puck into the top of the net.

Brad Richards put the Lightning on the board with 7:57 left in the second. Andreas Lilja couldn’t control a dump in behind Osgood’s net and the Lightning recovered, working the puck out front to Richards to put into the top corner of the net.

Dan Cleary scored another early-period goal to re-extend the Wings’ lead. Just 2:05 into the third, Brett Lebda put a shot from the blue line on Denis. At the top of the crease, Denis kicked it aside, straight to Cleary on the right wing for a shot back into the open net.

Mathieu Darche scored the game’s final goal with 3:06 remaining, tipping a Shane O’Brien shot past Osgood from inside the crease.

Osgood stopped 21 of 23 shots to earn his twelfth win of the season. Denis made 35 saves on 39 Detroit shots.

Detroit went one-for-two on the power play and the Lightning did not score on any of their three tries with the extra attacker.


Mark Hartigan was called up from Grand Rapids replace the injured Maltby. He was sent back to the Griffins after the game.

Red Wings Survive Columbus Comeback with Shootout Win

The last time the Detroit Red Wings had faced the Blue Jackets, they blew a three-goal third-period lead to fall to Columbus in the shootout. On Friday night, they lost a late lead again but this time they held on to pick up the win in the tiebreaker on a goal by Tomas Holmstrom.

Holmstrom scored the only goal of the shootout, taking Detroit’s shot in the fifth round.

Without usual shooters Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, the latter having left the game with an “upper body injury,” the Red Wings relied on Jason Williams, Steve Yzerman, Robert Lang and Mikael Samuelsson to take their first four shots.

The Blue Jackets’ shooters were Jaroslav Balastik, Rick Nash, Mark Hartigan, Trevor Letowski, and David Vyborny.

Columbus forced overtime when Nash completed his first career hat-trick with 33 seconds remaining and goalie Marc Denis on the bench for an extra attacker. Nash intercepted a clearing pass in the slot and threw it back past Detroit netminder Manny Legace, who didn’t even see the shot.

Detroit had opened the scoring on a goal by Samuelsson at 1:01 of the first but Columbus tied it with 1:47 remaining in that period on Nash’s first of the night, a power play goal.

Niklas Kronwall scored his first of the season on a Detroit power play at 4:14 of the second period to put the Red Wings back in front. They extended their lead with goals by Brendan Shanahan at 7:51 and Williams at 9:18 before the Blue Jackets came back.

With 8:58 remaining in the middle period, Hartigan scored. Dan Fritsche added another goal 5:40 later to pull Columbus to within one.

Nash’s second of the night at 4:21 of the third tied the game at four until Kris Draper pulled Detroit back into the lead at 9:05.

Each team went one-for-three on the power play in the high-scoring matchup.

Legace made 18 saves while facing 23 shots and Denis stopped 31 of the 36 shots that he faced.

The Red Wings and Blue Jackets will meet again Saturday night in Columbus in the second game of their home-and-home series.


Henrik Zetterberg left the game late in the second period with an undisclosed “upper body injury.” He was taken to Detroit Medical Center for precautionary examination.

Wings Close Out 2005 with Win over Jackets

In their final game of the 2005 calendar year, the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 5-2.

The game was Detroit’s 60th in franchise history on New Year’s Eve and the win gave them an overall record of 31-21-8 in those games. They have won their last five games on December 31.

The Red Wings were behind early, when Columbus got goals from Rick Nash and Jason Chimera to open the scoring.

At 9:27 of the first period as the teams skated 4-on-4, former Red Wing Jamie Pushor fired a shot from the point that Nash tipped in the slot, getting it past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood.

Just 36 seconds into the second period, the Blue Jackets struck again when Chimera skated around defenseman Brett Lebda at the Detroit blueline and outwaited a sprawling Osgood to put the puck behind him.

Long-time Red Wing Sergei Fedorov sent Johan Franzen crashing into Columbus goalie Pascal Leclaire at 1:51 of the second, knocking Leclaire out of the game and putting Fedorov in the penalty box.

On the ensuing power play, 1:16 later, Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line that found its way into the net behind Marc Denis to put Detroit on the board.

Mathieu Schneider tied the game 4:50 later, firing a shot from the high slot that deflected off a diving Fedorov and past Denis.

The Red Wings gained the lead with 53 seconds left in the period when Mikael Samuelsson scored. Robert Lang threw the puck on net from the right circle and Denis kicked it back to that side of the net while moving to the far post. Samuelsson jumped from behind the net to knock the puck into the open goal.

Lidstrom scored his second of the night at 4:19 of the third period. When the puck bounced off the left wing boards and came into an empty left circle, Lidstrom jumped up from the point and rifled a shot into the net.

With 5:34 remaining, Samuelsson’s second goal of the game closed the scoring. He had the puck all alone at the side of the crease and lifted a shot over Denis’ shoulder for a power play goal.

Osgood ended up facing only 15 shots on the night, stopping 13 of them. Leclaire stopped all 13 shots he faced while Denis made 25 saves on 30 shots.

Detroit went two-for-six on the power play and held Columbus without a goal on five chances with the extra skater.

The Red Wings will host the Minnesota Wild in their first game of the 2006 calendar year on Tuesday.


Goalie Manny Legace returned to the Red Wings’ roster after a one-game rehab stint in Grand Rapids on Friday. He backed up Chris Osgood.

Wings Down Columbus to Set Record Start

The Detroit Red Wings earned their ninth win in the first ten games of the season with a 6-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday. It marks the first time in the team’s 80-year history that they have started 9-1.

Like in Detroit’s 6-0 win at Columbus on Saturday, the Red Wings got into penalty trouble early, taking a penalty in the first minute of the game. Unlike on Saturday, they did not shake it off and the Blue Jackets scored the game’s first goal with Jiri Fischer in the box at 10:18.

Just four seconds into the power play, David Vyborny won an offensive-zone faceoff back to Todd Marchant at the right point. Marchant quickly got the puck to Bryan Berard, who moved into the high slot and fired a shot that deflected off a Red Wings’ skate and past Detroit goalie Manny Legace.

Detroit bounced back with 3:23 remaining in the first, as Brendan Shanahan banked a shot in off the back of Columbus netminder Marc Denis from behind the net.

The Red Wings took the lead on a goal by Pavel Datsyuk 7:38 into the second. Datsyuk batted the rebound of his first shot out of mid-air and past Denis.

He scored again on the power play just 1:40 later, putting in the rebound of a shot by Fischer.

Trevor Letowski cut Detroit’s lead to one with 8:22 left in the period but the Red Wings pulled further ahead after Columbus’ Steven Goertzen was sent to the box for a five-minute roughing penalty after riding Andreas Lilja into the boards on an icing call.

Shanahan scored his second of the night on a slap shot from the top of the right circle with 3:27 left in the second. Mathieu Schneider added another with 2:13 remaining while the Wings skated 5-on-3.

Henrik Zetterberg scored the third period’s only goal, skating around two Blue Jackets as he broke into the zone and then beating Denis with 8:08 left in the game. The goal was scored as the teams skated four aside after a scrum in front of the Detroit goal.

Legace stopped 31 of 33 shots against for Detroit while Columbus got the same number of saves on 37 shots from Denis.

The Red Wings went 3-for-9 on the power play. Columbus was 1-for-8.

Detroit will be in action next on Thursday as they begin a three-game series with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Williams Leads Wings Over Blue Jackets

Jason Williams‘ first career hat trick and Manny Legace‘s second shut out of the season was more then enough for the Wings to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets. The game was also marked by the return of Kris Draper after getting hit in the eye with a puck earlier this week.

Williams’ hat trick came in the first period, starting the scoring for the Wings. Five minutes in and off a face off in the left circle that Robert Lang won, Williams stepped in and flicked the puck past Marc Denis on the short side.

Williams’ second goal came on the power play when he took a pass from Tomas Holmstrom from behind the net. Williams’ one-timed it from the right slot giving the Wings a 3-0 lead.

He completed the hat trick from a Brendan Shanahan pass at the right half boards. The Blue Jackets had sent the puck around the boards to clear when Shanahan trapped it. Williams fought to control the pass and wristed it past Denis from between the circles.

Johan Franzen helped the Wings tally a 4-0 lead in the first period. His goal came only 17 seconds after Williams’ first goal. Michael Rupp sent a pass across the middle of the Blue Jackets’ own zone trying to clear and Franzen hopped on it, scoring unassisted.

In the third period the Wings opened up their lead with goals from Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. Zetterberg scored just as a power play expired on a pass from Jason Woolley seven minutes into the period. This was just seconds after Datsyuk has scored a power play goal that was called back for goaltender interference. Datsyuk’s goal came at 14 minutes in off a rebound that Blue Jacket goalie Martin Prusek couldn’t handle from a shot by Zetterberg on a 3-on-2 break.

Legace only faced 17 shots for his shut out. Marc Denis made 13 saves on 17 shots in the first 15 minutes of the first period before being pulled. Martin Prusek, making his debut for Columbus, had 17 saves on 19 shots.

The Wings were 2 for 5 on the power play, though the first and fifth power plays equaled a total time of 5 seconds. The Blue Jackets had 7 power play opportunities.

The Wings will stay in Columbus and face the Blue Jackets again on Monday night.

Wings Rout Flu-Ridden Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets came to Detroit missing thirteen players from their normal starting roster and certainly played like it, allowing nine goals and scoring none en route to a loss to the Red Wings.

Detroit got goals from Nicklas Lidstrom, Robert Lang (2) and Kyle Quincey in the first period to take a 4-0 lead into the intermission. The Blue Jackets managed only two shots to the Red Wings’ twenty-one on the period.

Dan Cleary and Rem Murray added goals in the second before Columbus goalie Marc Denis was replaced by Pascal Leclaire. Mathieu Schneider scored one more goal in the second before Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom added goals in the third.

Lidstrom scored the only goal of the shootout in the fifth round.

The Blue Jackets roster has been decimated by a flu bug going around the team.

The Red Wings were without captain Steve Yzerman, defenseman Jamie Rivers and goalie Chris Osgood, all suffering from groin injuries. Pavel Datsyuk did not play after practicing with the team for a second day and Andreas Lilja sat after playing the night before in Colorado. Niklas Kronwall was out with the knee injury he suffered in Denver.

Jackets Down Wings in Regular Season Closer

In a game of no postseason consequence, the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, Saturday night. It was the last game of the season for both teams. The Red Wings had already clinched the NHL’s best record, while the Blue Jackets were already eliminated from the playoffs.

Columbus opened the game’s scoring 6:27 into the game. On the power play, former Red Wing Anders Eriksson fired a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle. Just outside the crease, the puck was deflected downwards and slipped under the glove of Detroit goalie Manny Legace.

The Red Wings tied the game just 50 seconds later. Defenseman Derian Hatcher fired a shot from the blue line that went wide of the net and bounced off the boards behind Columbus netminder Marc Denis. Steve Thomas picked up the loose puck at the other side of the net and banked a shot off Denis, tying the game.

Rick Nash scored his league-leading 41st goal of the season 4:07 into the second period to put the Blue Jackets back on top. Nash beat Legace with a shot from the bottom of the right circle.

Just 3:45 later, Trevor Letowski lifted a shot over Legace from in close to put Columbus up by two.

The Red Wings were unable to score to even the game up, and the Blue Jackets added a goal by David Vyborny with eight seconds remaining in the game.

Legace stopped 13 shots out of the 17 he faced in the game, while Denis made 32 saves on 33 shots.

The Red Wings will open the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday or Thursday night against either the Nashville Predators or the Edmonton Oilers.

Lang’s First as a Red Wing Lifts Detroit over Columbus

Robert Lang‘s first goal as a Red Wing lifted Detroit to a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday night. The Red Wings claimed the regular season Western Conference Championship with the win.

Lang’s goal came with the game tied 9:03 into the third period. Tomas Holmstrom carried the puck into Columbus zone and cut through the crease before dropping a pass back to Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan skated past the puck, letting it sit in the slot where Lang got to it and slipped a shot under Columbus goalie Marc Denis.

The Red Wings had scored 4:22 into the period to tie the game at two. After half a minute of pressure from Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom, defenseman Jiri Fischer threw a shot on net from inside the blue line. Denis stopped the shot but the puck was left sitting on the goal line. From the side of the net, Holmstrom poked the puck across the goal line, tying the game.

Detroit had opened the scoring in the second period. Just 1:45 in to the middle frame, Darren McCarty and Kirk Maltby streaked in on the Columbus net. McCarty fired a shot that Maltby deflected with the shaft of his stick into the net.

Columbus’ goals came six minutes apart in the first half of the second period. At 2:48, Trevor Letowski scored and at 8:28, Donald MacLean beat Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace.

Legace made 30 saves on 32 shots while Denis stopped 27 of 30 shots. The Red Wings were unsuccessful in their lone power-play attempts, with the Blue Jackets held scoreless in each of their seven chances with the advantage.

After the game, the Blue Jackets were less worried about the loss than about a third-period hit Maltby put on Columbus defenseman Rostislav Klesla with 4:52 remaining.

Maltby lined up Klesla coming across the center red line and hit him into the boards in front of the Detroit bench – with one of the bench doors open. Klesla caught the corner of the boards and dropped to the ice. No penalty was called on the play.

Maltby claimed he didn’t see that the door was open.

“I’m really not going to get into an argument about it,” he said. “I’m backchecking. I can’t see who’s coming on, who’s coming off, if the door’s closed or not. I’m not trying to hurt the guy. It was a foot race.”

“You can’t say he didn’t see the door open because it was open for four seconds – we watched it on video,” Columbus interim coach Gerard Gallant said. “He just drove him into the door. Not smart at all by him.”

The Red Wings and the Blue Jackets close out the season in Detroit on Saturday night.

Wings Down Columbus in Tight Game

A player coming back into a team’s lineup after missing quite a few games usually hopes to get through the game without making any glaring mistakes in timing. If he can make a positive impact, then that’s a bonus. Jason Williams and Curtis Joseph both provided the Red Wings with excellent bonuses tonight. Williams scored two goals in his first game since January 16, and Joseph made 31 saves in his first game since February 11, propelling the Red Wings to a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

As always, the Blue Jackets were eager to play the Red Wings, and they got the game off to a good start. Trevor Letowski opened the scoring with 6:36 gone in the second period. Joseph made a save against Nikolai Zherdev, and his left side was still tight to the goalpost when he lost sight of the puck. The puck bounced off the back boards, and Letowski was able to get to it and slide it in to Joseph’s right before the goalie could get back across. Williams tied the game a little while later. Joseph settled the puck behind his own net and sent it along to Jiri Fischer. Fischer made a good pass to Brendan Shanahan to clear the defensive zone, and Shanahan sent it to Williams flying through center ice. Williams carried across the blue line, danced around defenseman Anders Eriksson, and backhanded a high shot past goaltender Marc Denis.

Detroit thought they had moved into the lead just a moment later when Tomas Holmstrom deflected a shot into the net, but the officials ruled that he had knocked the puck in with his stick higher than crossbar level.

The Blue Jackets had a very good chance to regain the lead early in the second period; they were awarded back to back 5-on-3 power plays. First Boyd Devereaux was sent out for hooking, and Darren McCarty followed with a tripping call. Chris Chelios, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Steve Yzerman did an excellent job of getting in the Blue Jackets’ way and sending the puck down the ice, and Joseph made a surprising kick save against Zherdev, who thought he had a wide open net.

Just as Devereaux jumped back onto the ice, the referees assessed a high-sticking penalty to Chelios. This time Derian Hatcher, Mathieu Schneider, and Kirk Maltby weathered the power play storm.

The Red Wings took advantage of a bad line change by Columbus to move into the lead shortly after returning to even strength. Lidstrom forced a turnover at Detroit’s blue line and passed the puck across to Schneider. Schneider sent the puck ahead to Ray Whitney, and Whitney got it to Williams just as he was crossing the Columbus blue line. Williams faked a forehand shot, then switched to his backhand and lifted the puck over Denis.

Zherdev tied the game up with just 3:11 left in the second with a shot that beat Joseph low to the glove side.

However, Joseph made an excellent poke check against Rick Nash midway through the third, which not only denied the young forward an excellent scoring chance, but also set up Brett Hull‘s game winning goal. Yzerman picked up the puck from Joseph and headed up the right wing side on a three on two rush. He passed to Lidstrom coming up the middle, and Lidstrom made a neat pass left to Hull. Hull one-timed a hard wrist shot which went right through Denis. Henrik Zetterberg finished up the game with an empty net goal with 5 seconds left to play. Detroit outshot Columbus by a slight margin: shots were 35 to 33. The Red Wings will return home to face their next opponent, the Dallas Stars, Saturday afternoon at the Joe.

24 Hours Can Make A Big Difference

Whatever it was that Columbus Blue Jackets coach Doug McLean said to his team after last night’s 5-1 blowout loss to Detroit, it worked. The Blue Jackets rallied to take a 3-0 win over the Red Wings and split the home and home series with one win apiece.

It was evident from the first drop of the puck that tonight’s game was going to have more of a defensive focus than last night’s shooting match. Both teams seemed wary of each other. The Red Wings had a few good scoring chances against Marc Denis in the first period, but an odd bounce let Columbus open the scoring.

Rostislav Klesla took a shot from the right point. Trevor Letowski tipped the shot on its way through so that Manny Legace wasn’t able to stop it cleanly, and Rick Nash flipped the puck into an open corner of the net.

The Blue Jackets got an even bigger boost to their momentum when they managed to kill off a double minor penalty which overlapped the end of the first and beginning of the second periods. The Red Wings failed to capitalize on Jody Shelley‘s trip to the box for high sticking and unsportsmanlike conduct, which gave the Blue Jackets the energy they needed to score their second goal of the game.

Andrew Cassels carried the puck behind the net, then out to the side. His tight angle shot just squeezed into the net between Legace and his short side goalpost at 4:23 of the second.

Darryl Bootland made an effort to liven up the Red Wings by starting a a fight against David Ling. Bootland got the better of the fight, but he also got a two minute minor for instigating and a ten minute misconduct to go along with his five minute fighting major.

Legace kept Detroit in the game by stopping Nash on a breakaway attempt, but the Red Wings just couldn’t manage to set up a strong scoring chance against Denis. Dan Fritsche’s goal from the left faceoff circle early in the third period put the game away for good for Columbus.

Detroit outshot Columbus by a narrow count of 25-24. The Red Wings will play next on Saturday night when they face the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul.